Depression is a serious medical illness that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and affects how you feel, how you act, and how you act. It is also called mood disorder or clinical depression. Fortunately, it is curable and can be prevented.
The presence of depression among college students can not be overlooked. It is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities, as explained by the essay help. It can also lead to sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, angry outbursts, frustration, and even over small issues. The symptoms may last a day. The effect of depression has hindered students from performing well.
Academic stress such as financial problems, poor academic performance, peer pressure, and failed relationships are major causes of depression among college students. However, there is a cure; it may require long-term use of medication with therapy. This article will further discuss the red flags and how to cope with it.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Depression is an illness of the mind and body. Fortunately, everybody going through it can be taken care of, so it is important to take note of the following signs and symptoms:
● Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
● Feelings of guilt
● Continuous sad, anxious, or empty mood
● Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
● Decreased energy
● Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
● Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
● Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
● Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
● Restlessness, irritability
Strategies for managing depression in college students
Research has shown that almost half of students reported depression and complained that their mental health affected their academic performance negatively. As depression increases among students, here are strategies to manage it.
Talk to a professional
According to medical practitioners, it can be treated in both mild and severe forms. However, it is better to treat depression early before it gets worse. This is why it’s important to talk to professionals once signs are noticed.
Practicing self-medication is not advisable. Check with your doctor for diagnosis and prescription of treatment. Antidepressant medications and talk therapies are the best ways of treating depression in college students.
Get adequate sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the body of a young adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Although, depression can make it hard to get enough night rest, which can worsen it.
However, getting enough sleep is critical to student mental health. A night of good sleep will recover from the day’s stress and keep you physically and mentally balanced.
There is no special diet that can cure depression, but some nutrient deficiencies can add to its symptoms. However, it can be hard for college students to eat well, let alone the time to prepare healthy foods. The tight academic schedule can even make students forget to eat. Regardless of how unrealistic it might seem, healthy eating doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
Many easily accessible snacks, such as protein bars (which you can learn more about in this article here, should you wish to), and fast foods can help improve mental and physical health. Additionally, if you feel able to, you should talk to your doctor in a situation where depression is making you overeat.
Avoid Drug and Alcohol Use
Substance use has become a culture in college. Students suffering from depression are more likely to turn to alcohol and drugs to help relax and deal with the symptoms of depression. The negative effect of drug abuse has become a major challenge faced by college students. Although drug and alcohol use is not the major cause of depression, long-term exposure can deteriorate mental health.
Students with issues of depression need to stay away from drug and alcohol use. Universities and Colleges are working hard to eradicate substance abuse and provide support to struggling students.
Mindfulness might sound like a simple task, but being mindful is not easy; it requires a great deal of exercise. This is the ability to be aware and conscious of the present moment. College students lose focus easily while trying to balance academics and social life.
Practicing mindfulness is a great tool for managing depression; it can be done through breathing techniques, meditation, listening to podcasts, or participating in yoga class. Mindfulness might seem to be impossible, but there is a way it can be introduced to the daily routine.
Strong connections with friends and family play a vital role in supporting mental health, especially for students going through episodes of depression. Meeting new people in a new environment can be overwhelming at first.
Students must prioritize meeting new people and making new friends, which is crucial for their mental health. Friends and family should also create a support system for students struggling with depression.
Stress is described as a major factor that causes depression. College academic demands can be overwhelming. It can be hard for students to balance work, school, family, and other commitments. However, individual students need to find the best stress management technique suitable.
A college is an exciting place every student wants to be. Stress is a popular problem many students face due to the challenges associated with it such as adjusting to a new environment, congested academic work, and personal life. Balancing academics with so many new changes is the cause of depression for so many students. If you notice your friend is showing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential you help them seek help.